Daredevil Deviltry may not be the easiest or safest way to make one’s living, but it is certainly the most exciting. People often wonder how daredevils get that way and if they are normal human beings or suicidal maniacs. They are as normal as you and I and have no intent of self-destruction.
With a yen for accomplishing what to many appears to be impossible in the way of daring feats, they have entered a bizarre profession where the money is good and they satisfy a public willing to pay for chills and thrills.
But why pay to watch daredevils to perform? If you’ve got a television set in your home, sit back, relax, and get your share of thrills and chills watching the old adventure movies frequently shown, and, of course, the ever popular westerns. Look closely and you’re liable to see Yakima Canutt, perform his specialty of jumping from a stagecoach, onto the rear two animals of a six-horse team, then jump to the next two, and then up to the first two.
Then Canutt, who usually gets $1,000 for this stunt, utters a prayer under his breath and then drops to the ground. Sure. You’ve seen this stunt a dozen times. Canutt allows the six-horse team thunder past him, then, as the wagon goes thundering past his body, he grabs the rear of the stagecoach and pulls himself up to the top.
Many movies contain daring flying sequences staged by the king of the movie stunt pilots, Frank Clarke, who, before his death in 1948 from a plane accident not connected to any movie daredevilry, could make a plane do everything except eat out of his hand.
And there were many other stunt daredevils, both men and women, who made the movie business exciting. In this series, you’ll hear many of their stories. We hope that you’ll enjoy them.
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